Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What I Did On My Christmas Vacation

our local musical light display
Partly thanks to the convenient placement of the holidays in 2011, I just had ten days off from work! It was the first staycation I've taken in ten years of cubicle dwelling. Here's a recap:

+ Christmas 2011 was a success! My parents, brother, and grandma attended my church with me on Christmas Eve, but we didn't go on Christmas Day because Debra and Lance arrived mid-morning. As usual, my parents were excessively generous with gifts. I got a sewing machine (you'll be hearing much more about that), AND an electric leaf blower and electric edger that are super easy to use. Not sure what it says about me that I'm equally excited about craft and yard implements.
+ For New Year's Eve, my parents, brother, and I had dinner downtown at Pearl's Oyster House and went to the Tigers game. We arrived back at my parents' just in time to see the NYC ball drop on TV. At our midnight, we switched to the guitar drop on Beale Street (and the "Moon Pie Drop" out of Mobile - did anyone else see that?!?). I was home in bed by around 1 am. As far as I'm concerned, it was an almost perfect NYE.

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+ On New Year's Day, we had one midmorning service at church, which was an absolutely perfect kickoff to the year. Then I hosted an open house/late brunch. About 20 people came and everyone seemed to have a GREAT time. I feel loved and blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. ♥ We didn't do a craft this year, but I made a simple backdrop for photo ops:
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+ Before my sister went back to Nashville, I got to feel my niece kick for the first time! It was amazing. (She has a name now, but it's not public yet.)

+ I bought a Kindle Touch the day after Christmas. It felt indulgent and impulsive, but I'd been thinking about it for a long time. Now I can participate in BookSneeze and other stuff for book bloggers. I'm still totally Team Real Books, but I'm excited to have an e-reader for vacations, rare books, giveaways, flash sales, that kind of thing.

+ I also bought long-awaited faux wood window blinds, and they look wonderful. I'm thrilled that the days of yucky beige aluminum blinds, and cats rattling them in the night, are over! (Pictures to come.)

+ One of my vacation goals was to see movies, something I never do anymore. I watched We Bought A Zoo, One Day, Tangled, and Dolphin Tale, and enjoyed them all. My mom was amused that I described Dolphin Tale as "surprisingly emotional," but it was. I was a mess for at least a third of it. (If you'd ever seen my dolphin-and-whale-covered childhood bedroom, this would make more sense.)

+ I enjoyed long lunches with Nell at Cafe Eclectic, and Caroline at Petra Cafe. Both places were on my list of restaurants I wanted to check out.

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+ I went to the Brooks Museum to catch an exhibit of 1950s Everglades etchings. The other exhibits were cool too. I'd like to go to art museums more often.

+ I ate way, way too much. I exercised most days, but I don't think it was enough to counteract the constant desserts and dips (and wheels of Brie). The post-holiday soup and salad diet starts this week. :P
I hope everyone got at least some holiday time off! How were your breaks?


  1. So this post is full of happiness and yumminess, but all I can think is, "EEE!!! Alanna and her man!" =oD

  2. My parents almost went to the Moon Pie drop, since they live about an hour away from it. However, Memphis and Mobile are neck in neck for the title of Most crime ridden city, so they stayed home. Your brunch looked great! I would love to help you with that next year if you are interested :)

  3. You packed a LOT into 10 days off! So glad I got to see you several times. Happy 2012!